Due to an unavoidable schedule conflict of a key Chicago Department of Transportation official, the community meeting regarding proposed modifications to the Touhy/Rogers/Ridge intersection, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m., is POSTPONED until Thursday, March 19th, at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will still be held at the Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers.
Below is a reprint of the earlier email I sent describing the proposal and its history:
Funding for design improvements was approved by the voters in the 2011 Participatory Budgeting election, but the City delayed implementation of the plan until Peoples Gas finished with its gas main installation work in the area. The gas main work is now completed and the City is ready to move forward with construction of the newly reconfigured intersection.
The plan proposed by the City of Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is illustrated below:
The plan extends the curb at the southwest corner of the intersection to reduce the angle between Touhy and Rogers and shortening the crosswalk at that location from 100 feet to 40 feet. According to CDOT, the proposal would have the following benefits:
- The tighter radius on the southwest corner would slow right-turning vehicles form Rogers onto Touhy, making it easier for drivers turning left from Touhy onto Rogers to distinguish northeast-bound right-turning traffic from the traffic heading straight on Rogers.
- Allow motorists to scan for traffic approaching from the right without having to turn their head at a sharp angle.
- Increased safety for pedestrians crossing Touhy. The speed of traffic turning right will be reduced and a pedestrian walking at 3.5 feet per second would be exposed to traffic for 17 fewer seconds.
- Storage on the northeast leg of Rogers/Touhy at Ridge will be more than doubled, increase from 65 feet to 130 feet. This will allow more vehicles to stack at the red light on Ridge before the queue extends past Touhy, reducing the chance that a backup on Rogers will block traffic turning left from Touhy.
- A substantial area on the southwest corner will be reclaimed as pedestrian space and could be landscaped and beautified.
The estimated cost of the project–$75,000–was approved by the voters in the 2011 PB election and has been set aside.
A pedestrian plaza constructed with permeable pavers, trees in grates and pedestrian lighting would cost an additional $155,000, bringing the total cost to $230,000. Irrigated planter beds would increase the total cost to $325,000. Another funding source would need to be identified or the enhanced proposal could be brought to 49th Ward voters in an upcoming participatory budgeting election.
CDOT rejected some other proposed solutions, including a stop sign on southwest bound Rogers. According to CDOT, drivers would be tempted to roll through the stop sign to make a green light on Ridge. Additionally, the queue of vehicles stopped at the traffic signal would continue to extend past Touhy and would not be any less likely to block the intersection.
Another idea rejected by CDOT was to modify the timing of the signal at Ridge and Rogers to generate larger gaps in northeast bound traffic. However, CDOT pointed out that if the red time for this signal is increased, the southwest bound queue on Rogers would lengthen, increasing the likelihood that the intersection of Touhy and Rogers will be blocked.
Click Here For a letter from CDOT outlining the City’s proposal and analyzing the proposed alternatives.
The proposal is not set in stone and the Department of Transportation and I are willing to consider alternative proposals. Please come to the meeting with your ideas and comments. If you are unable to attend the meeting please share your thoughts and questions by replying to this email.